Posts Tagged 'cats'

The Day of The Bugs

We have had a lot to concern us on this trip. In BC we worried about the cats and the fires. In Alberta we worried about cats and shade. In Saskatchewan, it was the Day of the Big Bugs. Also known as “Day of the Squeegee”. I regret I have no good pictures for you of all the bugs smashed on the windshield. My most sincere apologies for that lack.

We woke on Day 3 happy in the knowledge that we were going to Calli’s for breakfast. She fed us a feast!!! The most delicious pancakes I have ever had in my life – ricotta pancakes with orange zest. Also – sensational coffee. She said it was a BC company called Kicking Horse. I really hope I can find that online or I’m making Honour move back to Delta and mail me coffee. Hmmm. Honour has just informed me that she won’t oblige (oh and so what else is new). Oh Clair……. 🙂 Not only did Calli feed us magnificently but she took all the animals’ bedding and washed it!!! ahuva's tiaraWe’re not sure if Fergus, Duff and Jamie cared but Honour and I were thrilled. I also got to use the wifi and managed to do the prior tl;dr post. I also got to wear my tiara for breakfast! We had much fun chatting with Calli and her husband. Calli has 2 fantastic dog sculptures in her front yard, made by the daughter of a neighbor. My photos do not do them justice but they are truly magnificent. Calli and her husband also helped us plan out travel stops for the next few days. We already had a hotel reservation for that evening but they recommended we get one for the next night as well for when we stopped in Wawa.

I began calling places in Wawa and every pet-friendly hotel was booked. I really hate traveling because you have to do things like make reservations. If I can’t get the reservation I want in a maximum of 2 calls I start getting very unhappy. Some might even say cranky. calli's sculpturesIt is at times like that, that I turn to my travel-agent-in-the-sky. Or wherever she might be. I use ‘sky’ because of this very funny story that Honour could tell you if she would only do her own posting. But mostly she dictates to me what she thinks I should be writing. But it’s a great story about her mother and the GPS. Maybe someday she’ll tell you. ANYWAY, my TAITS is my sister. My sister not only excels at hunting down the best reservation she even seems to enjoy the process. I called her and said please please help me. She, being the fantastic sister she is, said sure. So we could finally start off again on our journey. I took a picture of Fergus and Duff and their excitement before we left Calli’s house. (In case my photo fails to capture their joy, you can notice the clean cat bed under which they are hiding.) They spend a lot of time like that. As with many parents taking children on long journeys, we are disappointed that they are failing to appreciate this great cultural opportunity we have given them.

Day 3 was a lot of nothing very exciting and a lot of dead bugs. You can tell because I have almost no photos for this post. close up of dogs I only had 2 on-the-road pictures, and one of them was a sign I saw as we pulled out of the gas station. I’d like to point out to all of you who have asked me – well what is it you DO do? that I EXCEL at squeegeeing. Honour pumped the gas but I cleaned the windows, the headlights and the license plate. They have VERY big bugs in Saskatchewan. What we did notice, besides the bugs, was that no one else on the road appeared to be heading east. They were all going west. We wondered what they all knew that we did not. Even the trains were going the opposite direction. I finally managed to have my camera in hand when one was approaching. I don’t know why I find the trains so appealing but seeing them come with that big headlight shining made me smile. And worry because they too were heading west…..

We were booked into a Super 8 in Kenora. We’d made pretty good time and were looking forward to having a chance to have some dinner and relax before collapsing into bed. cats under cat bed Our GPS, however, felt we needed a bit more excitement after that long bug-filled ride. She (I have named Honour’s GPS Gypsy2 – because MY GPS is named Gypsy) insisted that we needed to turn left to reach the Super 8. I was driving and refused to listen as we were on a bridge over a lake. I crossed the bridge, turned around and headed back, thinking perhaps I’d simply been slow to respond but no, now she wanted me to turn right into the lake. I didn’t remember the reservation saying anything about needing a boat and since Molly (the car, you remember) doesn’t have pontoons, we decided to ignore Gypsy2 and try to find someplace else to stop. We drove on and tried to get our phones to also cooperate and pulled into a gas station. There we learned that the Super 8 was just ahead on the left, after 2 more bridges. .

We pulled into the Super 8 and noticed the adjoining restaurant. I checked into the hotel while Honour fed the cats. I dumped everything in the room and set up my computer to charge. Honour started knocking at the door, despite the fact I had brought her her key. Her key, apparently, did not work. We figured this was no big deal since we weren’t going to be coming and going and we headed out to dinner at the restaurant. train keeps a rollin'The hotel clerk had told us the restaurant closed at 11 or maybe 1 am on a Saturday night. There WERE lights on in the building. We could see people at tables. But the doors were locked. We were tired and hungry so we walked to the other door and tried that. Which was also locked. It was 9:50pm. We finally looked AT the door and saw a sign: Due to unforeseen circumstances we are closed. Okay, that really demoralized us. As we headed back around the building, we saw 4 people come OUT the door. We called to them and asked if the restaurant was open. They said they seemed to be the very last people in the building. We walked back to the hotel where the desk clerk suggested we should order pizza. We thought this was an acceptable idea AND he gave Honour a new key. We walked upstairs (there was no elevator – we needed to walk up and down 2 flights of stairs which were located at the end of the hall furthest from our room). We got to the room and Honour tried her new key. It didn’t work. I took her key thinking maybe it just didn’t like her but it didn’t work for me, either. So I took out my key and guess what – mine no longer worked either. This was even more dispiriting. I gave up and said to Honour that she and Jamie (who we’d retrieved from the car after our non-dinner) could go and get new keys because I actually had one trip down and back ahead of her and I was carrying several water bottles. Honour came back with the young desk clerk, to whom we’d gotten very attached by this point, with 2 NEW keys. horse fair signHe had confided to Honour that he really hoped it was the keys and not the lock because he didn’t know how to FIX the lock.

Honour took her new new key and tried to open the door. It didn’t open. To his credit, the young man did NOT laugh in our faces. He simply said – you have the key the wrong way. Oooookay. In our defense – we were very very tired and hungry. Of course, by this time, it was too darn late to call for pizza. Honour and Jamie went to bed, but I, your intrepid narrator, stayed up writing a post and editing pictures. (I was not going to be this nice to you in the future).

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1001 Kilometers

Well. THAT was a long day. water and mountainThat one day should have about 5 separate posts to cover all that happened. We got on the road around 8am as I mentioned. We made it all the way to Merritt (about 3 -4 hours) where we stopped at the Walmart. My sister, an avid RVer has assured me that the first stop on ANY cross-country trip is at the Walmart for whatever you forgot. We decided we wanted to get shades/filters for the rear windows of the SUV for better protection for the cats (the windows are tinted but it was feeling warm to us and we were concerned for them). We picked up some lunch for Honour and some rice crackers for me (I had breakfast, she didn’t) and gas for the car and a piddle break for the dog.

I should probably do a post just about the wildfires burning all through BC. looking at the Rockies north of RevelstokeI’ve been joking about the haze and not seeing the mountains, but in Merritt it abruptly ceased to be amusing. We stepped out of the car and could not breathe. There was so much smoky particulate matter in the air. We were coughing, our throats scratchy and dry. Haze so thick you couldn’t see the mountains. It smelled. It was akin to sticking your head into the smoke from a campfire. We looked at all the people walking about without masks, having their windows open, dogs hanging out of car windows panting. I have never experienced anything like that – not even the time we went to help a friend collect what was left when his apartment burned. I don’t understand how these people are getting by day to day with this air. Day 1 Mountain 1 BCThe car was coated in light soot. I shudder to think what is happening to everyone’s lungs. We were very happy to get back in the car, shut the windows and keep driving.

After Merritt we made it to Kamloops where nothing really fascinating occurred except we stopped to see if Jamie wanted to accomplish anything. Apparently Kamloops was up to the task. I must agree with her, based on the radio stations. We continued on our way to Revelstoke. It was after Merritt that Honour learned why my husband and son hate to drive with me. “Oh!!! Take a picture of that!! Take that!!! Did you get THAT picture???” If I had a penny for every time Honour said “of for pete’s sake woman!” we could charter our own jet and fly with the cats and dog and car all the way to Bay of Fundy. approaching the RockiesOn the other hand, I DO have photos!! I will at some point even crop them and insert them into this blog. The road to Revelstoke runs along Shuswap Lake – a HUGE beautiful lake with many resorts and lodges for water and mountain sports. Everything was quite beautiful with mountains and lake and, of course, the ubiquitous haze.

We stopped in Revelstoke for gas, stretching and Jamie’s convenience. There was a bridge so of course I took a picture of it. I have learned that A&W is EVERYWHERE in Canada. I had no idea I was in the birthplace of root beer. What a shame that I don’t like it. As for filling the gas tank, Honour thinks (and I agree) that we are best served by stopping for gas when it reaches half a tank. snow shed in BCAfter Revelstoke we began the real climb up into the Rockies. We were already up high in mountains and I asked Honour – is THIS the Rockies and she said no. And I said – how will I know? And she said – They’re going to get bigger. So leaving Revelstoke they did inded begin to get bigger. And I would have been half-way to purchasing my private jet. We realized at one point that we could actually see shadows on the road and that there was sun – and MUCH less haze. We could see many mountains, not just the one in front of us. Rockies 1It was gorgeous. Breathtaking. I can look at mountains all day long. We made it up to Rogers Pass, which my map informs me has an elevation of 1327 meters (4364 feet). The time changed at Rogers Pass – we lost an hour. Probably tossed it in the garbage back in Revelstoke when we cleaned the car.

Honour has been getting weather advisories on her phone and we had been getting advised that the air quality was poor just about everywhere in British Columbia. As I mentioned, I’m not sure we need someone to tell us that. We turned the corner, so to speak, out of Rogers Pass and saw white smoke. More and more white smoke as we drove. As you know, where there is smoke there is fire. Although we did not see the actual flames, we could indeed tell where each separate fire was burning. There were helicopters flying fairly low carrying huge buckets. As we watched (and as Honour took pics while I said – did you get THAT? Do you see the helicopter? Look at that. Look THERE!) one of the buckets was emptied above the fire. Honour did indeed catch that picture. I have been teaching Honour a lot about the electronics in her car and phone and everything else (think seat warmer) but I forgot to teach her the zoom on my phone. wildfires Rogers PassBUT we still do have a really good shot of the fire fighting in action. Again – this may not have been the experience most think of for crossing the Rockies and seeing mountains, but it was quite awe-inspiring. Seeing those many many fires burning away really brought home, along with the air, what “wildfires” means.

We planned to stop the night in Golden, just the other side of Rogers Pass. Did you know that this is Canada’s 150th Birthday? Did you know that in celebration of that birthday Canada has declared all national parks free of fees? Do you know that July/August is the height of the tourist season in BC? Did you know that there is not a single available hotel room in Golden? We know that. Although it might have been nice to know that BEFORE we got to Golden. multiple firesWe decided we’d drive to Banff and get a room there. So we got back on Rt 1 and headed out of town. Heading out of town on Rt 1 entails a descent down a mountain. A very curvy steep descent. Where our lane is on the outside. Did I mention Honour doesn’t like heights much either? It was an interesting ride. I did mention (gently, I hope, although perhaps I am mistaken) that it would be a tad easier on me without the soundtrack of gasps, pants and “the speed limit is 5km (that’s a lie – the km, not her saying it). I suggested that she close her eyes and not watch but she was the proverbial deer in the headlights.

As the sun set gently in the west behind us, we continued through the Rockies with me saying “boy are you lucky it’s too dark to take pictures”. We pulled into Lake Louise. wildfires2Oh my that is absolutely gorgeous!!! You might not know this but that’s a national park too. And there are only 6 hotels in the Lake Louise vicinity. This was not the information we’d hoped for. We sat down to eat some dinner and got out our phones and began searching for hotels. Not just any hotel, you understand, but one that would take pets. Oh – did you FORGET about Jamie and the boys? I found A room in Canmore (about 30 minutes further down the road) but alas, they didn’t want Jamie. We found their attitude offensive and decide the heck with Canmore if that’s how they were going to behave. Looking past Canmore there’s not really much until Calgary. Calgary has an airport. Airports have hotels. We were pretty sure we could find a room for all 3 of us (the boys said they preferred to room in the car) at SOME hotel there. helicopter at Rogers Pass2Indeed we called ahead and book a room in Calgary, another 2 ½ hours eastward.

The drive to Calgary was, thankfully, uneventful. As we neared the city, we had a wonderful lightening show in the sky. I said it must be heat lightening because we had no weather forecast showing up and it was the sky lighting up, not bolts seen in the distance. None of the uncoming cars were wet. Obviously, heat lightening.

INTERLUDE: I have not told you about Duff. we are not happyNeither Fergus nor Duff are really enjoying this adventure. Fergus has made that clear periodically. I do hope my cats don’t know those words. Duff, however, has passed beyond speech and sat frozen in the back of the crate, eyes larger than any eyes have a right to be, growling whenever Honour attempted to go near him. We were both getting a bit concerned about Duff. We decided that maybe we needed to find a doctor in Calgary and let Duff spend some time on the analytic couch. We are also supposed to be meeting up with our friend Calli, who lives somewhere in the prairies of Canada. East of Calgary but we really weren’t sure were exactly. She’d emailed us to ask when we thought we’d be there. As YOU all know, the answer could be tomorrow, next week, never. I sent Calli an email saying “not sure when, need a vet, please call if you can”. We reached Calli as we were approaching Calgary. She had some brilliant ideas on what we might be able to do for Duff. Her suggestions were very helpful but even more importantly – they helped calm us down a bit with regard to worrying.

We got off the phone with Calli just as I was reaching the hotel. And a few sprinkles of rain began. And them more rain. Heavy rain, Loud on the roof rain. We were exhausted, we were worried about the cats, and we’d been on the road for 15 hours. As I pulled the car under the hotel front carport it began to hail. We watched another guest come out and start taking pictures of the hail. I guess it wasn’t heat lightening. But we didn’t care. We were there and the hotel had COVERED parking. I staggered to the room as Honour got the cats as comfortable as they were going to let her get them. For Duff – not very. But it was cool, it was dark, it was quiest and they had food and water and they weren’t moving and we figured things might be a bit better with them when we saw them in the morning.

Jamie, Honour and I did all the necessities and fell asleep. For hours. Uninterrupted, in a bed, quiet hours.
the road goes ever on

We’re Moving!!!!

We are ON OUR WAY!!!! I wish I could take a picture of this moment for you. Duff and FergusWe are cruising on Highway 1, the cats quiet in the way back, Jamie quiet in the back seat, and Honour and I singing along with Adele. We did set out at 7 am but only to go to the store for ice, Starbucks for coffee and bagel. We sat in the parking lot and set up the GPS, the multi-charger and the trip odometers. We did discover that one of the outlets in the car does NOT work. But since the multi-charger has a zillion USB ports, we plugged the GPS in that. We have also learned that duct tape does not stick to the dashboard of Honour’s car. WHY would we have learned this? Since we have to use the USB port for the GPS, the GPS can’t be mounted on the window. I thought I could duct tape it to the dash (what? You DON’T travel with a roll of duct tape????) but to my great dismay and astonishment – duct tape wouldn’t stick. Day 1 Mountain 1 BCI must say this crushing on a personal level as I have ALWAYS put my faith in the power of duct tape.

We have also found that the seat warmers in the car work GREAT. Because the GPS is now sitting on the console, which is also where the seat warmer controls are, Honour discovered that her tush was getting extremely warm and begged me to fix it. I got out the manual and found that indeed, there were seat warmer controls and that Hi warms up more quickly than Lo (I swear – that is exactly what it says in the manual.). I am not very good with universal icons. I really prefer words. Unfortunately for me, this manual is very short on words and very big on universal symbols. mountain passWe had to wait for the next red light so I could show Honour the picture because I thought it looked like an arm rest but could not see the buttons on her arm rest. She looked at the picture and said – that’s the console! So I moved the GPS and indeed, there was the seat warmer button. It was on Hi so we can confirm that not only does it work but Hi does warm up very very quickly. I turned it off.

We have had our first spat, concerning road names and numbering. I think Honour has decided on this matter she needs to humor me. I have the maps, the trip tik, the phones, and the GPS. She may have the steering wheel but I think I have better cards if she ever wants to get where she’s going. Mountain shrouded in forest fire haze BCI have also learned that Honour has an even bigger bridge phobia than I do. This from a woman who has spent the last few decades in a place named Delta, surrounded by water and bridges. This means that right from the get-go, we deviated from the Trip-Tik and all of the well meaning advice I have been given over the last 3 days. Rather than taking the recommended routes to Highway 1, which ALL involved bridges, we headed east on the local rural back roads. I resorted to the GPS and my phone since I could not find the roads on the map. But credit where credit is due. Honour was correct and we met up with Highway 1 far east of where the Trip-Tik would have met it. So we are, as I type, computer plugged into the wonderful multi-charger, just about to reach Hope, BC.

Summer Night

Where has the summer gone? We finally had a few days where the temperature was in the 80s, and the evenings were not only bearable but actually pleasant, with breezes even. Simba is still here, defying the odds. *grin* That’s m’boy. Of course, we never told him the odds. 🙂 We were delighted to see see him not only come up out of the basement but climb “his” tree.

Simba’s not the only one still “here”. I am, too. I still make it into SL weekly, sometimes even more than once a week. I lack the energy and time to write about it, however. I’ve taken pics intending to blog but…. well…. you know how it is. Today I have a day with ONLY ONE meeting scheduled. I have been anticipating eagerly a lunchtime walk. Imagine my disappointment when I got to the door and it was raining. I considered walking anyway. But I decided that sitting in wet clothing in this EXTREMELY air-conditioned office would be unhealthy, not to mention uncomfortable.

My work laptop can actually get me into SL these days (I burned out the video card/cable on my old machine) but it’s still pretty laggy. I was reading some posts, some tweets, some plurks. I’m really out of touch with the blogarrazi these days. From the little I saw today, the tone and tenor seems pretty much the same. Not even the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Drama, Innuendos, Crises, Final Farewells. I think I’ll take a page from Honour’s blog and include a link to some music. *grin* And you thought I didn’t read your posts, Honour.

Credit to the posting on youTube for the video:
Uploaded by MontyPython on Jun 7, 2010
Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) DVD, Blu-ray and Soundtrack available from June 8th: http://www.notthemessiahmovie.com/

2012 Begins

I realized that December 2011 was the only month in 2011 without some major negative-D (that would be disappointment/damage/disillusionment). I realized that besides ending December Dancing with Daez, Dz and Dale, I made a new contact in the atomic world whose name begins with D. She has agreed to be my mentor and I’m hopeful that she will help me focus and hone my skills. So maybe December has Done a Diversion and Ds will signify Delight, not Despair.

I wake up every morning and have 4 furry faces waiting for me downstairs, Demanding their breakfast. This is excellent news actually – that there are still FOUR furry faces. You may (or may not) recall that Simba and I had a disagreement as to how we would treat his Diabetes. He won that argument (no injections) but we have both been winning for nearly 2 years now. /me smiles and pets Simbalah. I did suggest to the dog and the cats this morning that maybe THIS year we should turn things about – that they should be making ME breakfast. That I should come downstairs and find a cup of hot yummy coffee waiting for me and my lunch prepared and packed. I’m sure you know what the response was for that. Oh well, maybe NEXT year.

Siri Gives Advice

I have been laughing since the new iPhone came out. It has an AI assistant named “Siri”. Hah! One of my CATS is named Siri. Siri (“seryi”) is Russian for gray. And my beautiful 10-year-old Siri is gray. Somewhere in her lineage there must be a Russian Blue cat, because Siri has that plush thick gray fur typical of a Russian Blue.

Hamlet Au posted his dissatisfaction with how Apple’s Siri answered the question: What is the meaning of life?

MY Siri doesn’t like EITHER answer that Hamlet showed. MY Siri says the meaning of life is very simple: Food. Naps. Cuddles. More Food. Purrrrrrr.

Quid Pro Quo

A friend has gotten some good news today. He achieved something toward which he’s been working for months. He DID it!!! You’d think that he’d be bursting with jubiliation. But….. Something not so good happened to someone dear to him yesterday. The dear one will be okay but (having lived through similar situations myself) I’m sure the time was scary, traumatic, infuriating and draining. So my friend has no energy and no desire to celebrate his achievement.

I thought I’d write to him. Should I say be happy for BOTH pieces of news today: your achievement, dear one’s prognosis? Should I scold him for not recognizing his great success? Should I point out that the universe moves in mysterious ways and we rarely see the big picture?

It was that last thought that began to energize me. I wanted to chastise and say: WHAT? Do you think that life is quid pro quo? That good is given with one hand and taken away with the other simultaneously? That presumes all sorts of theology, most of it, imho, with a negative bent. That the world actually cares about us on a microscopic level and maintains an up-to-the-minute ledger. (I am using the phrase “the world” to try to forestall religious debate. We may end up there anyway, but feel free to substitute whatever phrase you like for a deterministic theory.)

I am compelled to say and write that I think the quid pro quo theory of life is simply not so. It is a vain, self-centered, presumptuous outlook on all of us. The universe runs. It exists. It existed before us and may likely be here after us (Again – I’m not getting into the we-are-destroying-the-universe argument. Humor me, okay?)

I can write that. I can argue that. I will say it to YOU. But….. I, too, FEEL that life is quid pro quo. I believe somewhere deep within me that I can bargain with the universe. Yes, that I can negotiate with God. I’ve been arguing with God for years now. It took me a very long time to recognize that a great tragedy in my life actually was a major tool for forging me into what I think is a better person. That’s really not the same thing as saying that sometimes bad happens in exchange for something good happening. It’s merely an observation that we don’t always see the big picture and maybe life IS quid pro quo. But I don’t THINK so.

I know that even as I logically say “things don’t work that way”, I feel that I can offer trade-offs. Or, that if something bad happens, I search for WHY did it happen???? WHY WHY WHY?? Oh – because I was mean? Because I didn’t help? Because because because? You can go nuts doing that. *grin* But I rather doubt I’m the only one.

I don’t have a conclusion here. I don’t know why my feelings are so at odds with my thoughts. I am recognizing that while I think my friend should celebrate, I feel that he needs to be focused on his dear one’s health. And I get that.

Refuah Shlema! A complete healing!


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